Christmas Eve Service at Union Baptist Church

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, December 24, 2010 0 comments

This evening beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Youth of Union will perform their Annual Christmas Eve Play at 1219 Druid Hill Avenue. The performance last's about one hour. It will feature an original play developed by the youth with costumes. The songs of the season will be sung in the Historic Sanctuary of Union Baptist Church. Together we will share in Holy Communion.


You are invited, bring your children, and share in this memorable hour of praise and worship to Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.

Christmas Food Baskets

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, December 23, 2010 0 comments

This morning Union Baptist Church distributed 300 food baskets to people within the community. It's an annual tradition that has grown over the past few years. Early in November we collect the names of people who live within the 21217/21201 zip code where our church is located. Yesterday, a team of volunteers packed each of the tree hundred baskets. The packing of the baskets is a joyous period of time as each one of us reflects upon the blessings that God has given us. We also reflect on how good we feel to share a bit of the Christmas spirit with our neighbors within the community.


Today people begin lining up outside of our church at 8:00 a.m. for the start of the distribution which began at 9:00 a.m. From 9:00 a.m to 12:00 noon a steady stream of people came in, showing their identification, and having their names matched with the list we had compiled. Food baskets was going out of the door at a rate of one basket per 45 seconds. The process is effective and efficient. The joy of Christmas is in the air as each of the community members are greeted with a, "Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday."

Indeed it is more blessed to give than to receive. Our church experienced the blessing of giving. I am so honored to serve in ministry with a church who is willing to bless 300 families within its community.

Strength to Face the New Year

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, December 22, 2010 0 comments

"I will strengthen you." Isaiah 41:10


Have you ever had the experience of needing to get a charge for the battery in your car because it wouldn't start?

Many times in life you have had stops and hesitations that required God to recharge your life's spark.

It is comforting to know that the same God who is able to orchestrate a Lunar eclipse; is the same God who has promised to supply your every need, including daily strength.

Remember all God has to do is speak and it is done. Remember what He did for our ancestors. He gave them the strength to face the uncertainty of a new day plagued by the injustice of yesterday. Nevertheless they were propelled into an era of freedom, dignity and worth that didn't come from man, but came from God.

Our God does not sleep or slumber he will give strength to those who are weak and courage to those who are afraid. All you have to do is to wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength.

Big Brother

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, December 20, 2010 0 comments

Growing up there was an image of "Big Brother" watching your every move, collecting information on everybody, and knowing what you were thinking and doing. It appears that "Biggie is Here." In today's Washington Post is a disturbing article outlining the technology and methods the government is using to track every day Americans under the guise of being potential terrorists. For government to posses this power in an era of political extremism is something to watch. Depending upon who is in political power will determine who is on the watch list. I guess we will just have to be prepared for "Biggie" to watch our every move and to monitor every transaction we make. The old adage is true, "what is done in the dark will come to the light."

Reading Revelation Responsibly

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, December 18, 2010 0 comments

If anyone has had problems understanding and reading the Book of Revelation, I recommend that you obtain a copy of the recently released book by Dr. Micheal J. Gorman, my dean at the St. Mary's Seminary, entitled "Reading Revelation Responsibly".


He walks the reader through a comprehensive understanding of this important book of the Bible.

For scholars and biblically aware people, I recommend this 2011 release of his book subtitled, "Following the Lamb into the New Creation."

As we stand on the brink of the second decade of the New Millennium, all of us need a new Revelation from God which is revealed in this book of old.

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, December 17, 2010 0 comments

The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings has added another accomplishment to his impressive resume. He was elected by The House Democratic Caucus to be the top Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the House of Representatives.


He will be the primary person charged with insuring that any inquiry into the Obama Administration is fair and above board.

Congratulations to my friend and colleague. He has distinguished himself as one of the finest and most influential congressmen in America.

Rising from a humble background, couldn't be more humble than sitting in class with me in the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, his brilliance, intellect and intelligence has taken him into the inner workings of power in America.

I believe we should communicate and let him know, that as he faces the responsibility of doing hand to hand combat with Republicans intent on attacking our President, that we have his back here at home.

Jesus says, "Come to me."

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, December 16, 2010 0 comments

"Come to me." Matthew 11: 28


The cry of the Christian religion is the gentle word, "Come."

The Jewish law harshly says, "Go, take heed to your steps as to the path in which you shall walk. Break the commandments, and you shall perish; keep them, and you shall live."

The law was a dispensation of terror, which drove people before it; the gospel draws with bands of love. Jesus is the good Shepherd going before His sheep, bidding them follow Him, and ever leading them, onwards with the sweet word, "Come." The law repels, the gospel attracts. The law shows the distance which there is between God and mankind; the gospel bridges that awful chasm, and brings the sinner across it.

From the first moment of your spiritual life until you are ushered into glory, the language of Christ to you will be, "Come, come to me." As a mother puts out her fingers to her little child and woos it to walk by saying, "Come," even so does Jesus. He will always be ahead of you, bidding you follow Him as the soldier follows his captain. He will always to before you to pave your way; and clear your path, and you shall hear His animating voice calling you after Him all through life; while in the solemn hour of death, His sweet words with which He shall usher you into the heavenly world shall be - "Come, you blessed of My Father."

Tupac's Testimony

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, December 15, 2010 0 comments



Tupac was a very misunderstood poet. His talent was able to take him to heights unknown. His ego distorted his role in society. It is unfortunate that while he wrote and rapped about the streets; he felt he had to live the street life.

Too many of our youth fall victim to street life before they have had the real experience of life. "To do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God."

True Strength

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

They go from strength to strength." Psalm 84:7


True strength comes from a mighty God who endows each of us with His spirit, grace and mercy. In life's journey each of us need to rely upon the strength of the Lord. If we learn to develop our spiritual muscles and our faith resources, you will find that when life seeks to press you down and forces seems to be arrayed against you; you will have a source of strength that will never lose its power.

Yes, the power and strength of God is inexhaustible. It is from everlasting to everlasting. Therefore, the psalmist understood the secret to gaining true strength when he wrote, "Even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

We are all connected to a power source which is God. That's why our light cannot be dimmed or extinguished.

Salt without limit

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, December 13, 2010 0 comments

"salt without prescribing how much." Ezra 7: 22


For persons who suffer from high blood pressure, too much salt is a bad thing. But for those who read scripture, you will know that salt is a biblical metaphor for grace. Therefore a theological reading of the Ezra text is that King Artaxerxes promised to give Ezra the priest, grace without limit.

That's what God does he places no limits on the grace that He will give to you. "Ask and it shall be given to you."

A person may have too much money, or too much honor, but a person cannot have too much grace. More wealth brings more care, but more grace brings more joy. Increased wisdom is increased sorrow, but abundance of grace brings a spirit filled with joy.

Go to the throne of God for a large supply of heavenly salt: it will season your afflictions, it will preserve your heart, and it will kill the effects of your sins.

Everyone needs much salt: seek much and have much!

Rev. Craig Mathies, Sr.,

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, December 12, 2010 0 comments

The story of Rev. Craig Mathies, Sr., being elected to the office of County Commissioner in Somerset County should not be overlooked. He is the first African American elected to an office in Somerset County in over 300 years.


"Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own."

I commend Rev. Mathies, Sr., Pastor of Zion Baptist Church, for listening to the voice of God and setting into his place in history. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., says it best, "the right time is always the time to do right."

Ms. Aretha Franklin

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, December 11, 2010 0 comments

Ms. Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul. Her regal air has commanded the respect of music loving people for decades. We have witnessed her presence throughout her very public career. From the humble beginnings in her father's church she has become an iconic image with international fame. Her private life has been pretty much private. Her public life is known to all. Her refusal to travel by plane, her battles with weight, and her failed attempts at marriage. We know a lot about Aretha Franklin; she belongs to us and is revered by us. Now she faces the battle of her life. Now she needs the support and prayers of all those who have invited her into the private places within their hearts and spirits.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!!

Serving Others

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

"It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:24


We need to place the idea of service in its proper context. When you serve it is unto the Lord. Too often we become tired, anxious, or disenchanted with serving others. Their problems seems to great. Our efforts are too meager. The system will not change. We focus upon the results instead of the process.

God designed the world in a manner that service is integral to its functioning. During this Advent season let us recommit to serving others because in reality we are serving God. "It is He that has made us and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture." If we ever learned to serve as a testimony to how good God has been to each of us; the world would be so much better.

My God Open Your Heart this morning

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, December 10, 2010 0 comments

The Dells use to sing a song, "I'm going to open up my heart this morning and see if I can help a friend." Some of you old school people may remember it.





"The Lord opened her heart" Acts 16:14

In the book of Acts you are introduced to a woman of means, Lydia. The above text reads that "The Lord opened her heart." She did not open her own heart. Her prayers did not do it; Paul did not do it. The Lord Himself must open the heart, to receive the things which make for our peace. He alone can put the key into the hole of the door and open it, and get admittance for Himself. he is the heart's master just as He is the heart's maker. The first outward evidence of the opened heart was obedience. As soon as Lydia had believed in Jesus, she was baptized. It is a sweet sign of a humble and broken heart, when the child of God is willing to obey a command which is not essential to his or her salvation, which is not forced upon him or her by a selfish fear of condemnation, but is a simple act of obedience and of communion with the Master. The next evidence was love, manifesting itself in acts of grateful kindness to the apostles. To the saints love has always been a mark of the true convert. Those who do nothing for Christ or His church, show little evidence of an "opened" heart. Lord, constantly give us an opened heart.

Rev. Dr. Charles Spurgeon

Through us God provides for the Poor

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, December 8, 2010 0 comments

"From your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor." Psalm 68:10


One of the mantras from the Civil Rights era was, "the maximum feasible participation by the poor." The implication was that the recipient of services should be involved in the decision making and delivery of those services. In this manner, those who are poor learn how to fish versus being fed.

We have slowly but surely retreated from addressing the needs of the poor. Too many of us feel that our own sense of self is being threaten that we witness less and less advocacy for those who need a hand up instead of a hand out.

That's why when President Obama sought a tax break for the middle class; the rich pushed back with saying what about them? Therefore the tax breaks for the rich were retained for another two years.

We cannot simply point the finger at the rich. Many of us have taken a back seat to advocacy for the poor and we tend to denigrate them for being in that state. No one wishes, desires, or needs to be poor. Any factual analysis of American Capitalism reveals that a class relegated to poverty is necessary for capitalism to sustain itself. Our economic system is designed to foster a state of poverty among people.

What should be our response? We must ceaselessly advocate on behalf of the poor. We must diligently work to eliminate the conditions that create poverty. We must never be satisfied with our bellies being full, when there are those among us who are hungry.

Thinking about your special someone is always in order

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, December 7, 2010 0 comments

"He chose the lowly things of this world." 1 Corinthians 1: 28


Advent is your opportunity to think anew about the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. He came into a world that was drowning in sin to save those who were lost. The world continues to drown and His mission and ministry is as essential today as in later days. Too many people think that they are okay and that they are immune to sin. It is surprising to me that so many "so called Christians" fail to believe that they must seek repentance everyday. Too many feel that their particular addiction to sin is manageable; while everyone else is sinning "big time." The love of God is available to you right now and right where you are. The need to repent and turn from any way that is not pleasing in God sight is always appropriate and the right thing to do. Don't delay! Forsake the evil that so easily besets you and walk into the marvelous light of God's love and forgiveness.

Take one step and God will take two!

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, December 5, 2010 0 comments

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Ask and it will be given to you." Matthew 7:7

I'm reflecting upon the bond of kinship that I feel for my colleagues: Rev. Dr. S. Todd Yeary and Rev. Dr. Lester A. McCorn. These brother took a powerful step which is depicted in this picture. They stepped out of their comfort zones into the history of Baltimore City. The annuals of history will record that the residents took a stand on November 22nd for their own empowerment and dignity. The reverberations from this action will ring within our city for years to come. Many thanks to these brothers for taking this step. Indeed honor to a gracious God who made these steps meaningful.

All People belong to God

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, December 4, 2010 0 comments

"I have many people in this city." Acts 18:10 Scripture reminds us that all the people are God's people. It is an unfortunate reality that we label people or classify them into categories. That's not what God does. He sees people as people and souls that need to be redeemed and saved. Our world and our urban environments would be so fulfilling and the quality of life for all would greatly improve if we understood that all of the people belong to God. If we functioned that way, the resources would not be hoarded by the few. If we governed that way, the benefits would not just accrue to the rich and powerful. If we lived like that, we would participate in God's grand design for His "beloved community." As we move through the Advent Season, we must believe in our hearts that God has many people within the cities of America and the world. People whom God send His Son to save!

Baltimore's Schools

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

Recently The New York Times wrote an article entitled, "A Mission to transform Baltimore's Beaten Schools." It highlights the work of Dr. Alonso. It's an article that was clearly written to propel him onto a national stage. Possibly with the intent to be added to his resume as he is seeking to be courted by other school systems. While Dr. Alonso is a pretty likable guy, there have been some glaring missteps during his tenure that has impacted education within the communities of Baltimore City. I work within the Upton Community and find myself engaged with five schools: Booker T. Washington. Mount Royal, Furman Templeton, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, and Eutaw Marshburn. In the case of Booker T. Washington, there has been six principles within the past six years. In the article I'm quoted as saying that Dr. Alonso brought principals in with impressive creditable, but they don't know the community and in effect are just using GPS systems to find there way. I wish more of my comments could have been included versus a quote. What I said is that new principles were brought in without true community engagement. They were throw into our neighborhoods without any historical information or current information regarding assets. Each operated under the assumption they had to go out and identify community resources; as if they did not already exist. The second observation I made was under Dr. Alonso we have not seen indigenous talent being elevated. We have outstanding schools of higher education that are training local residents to assume positions within our own educational system. I fail to see where Morgan, Coppin, Towson, or Notre Dame graduates are in positions of responsibility with our school system. It appears to me that Dr. Alonso is tilted towards out of state talent versus local talent. The final observation I made was that under Dr. Alonso we have lost school building being named for historic figures and the result is that students are attending schools with generic names. They lose a sense of pride and understanding of the contributions of past leaders and role models. I wish Dr. Alonso well in his future pursuits. We need a leader of our School System who is committed to Baltimore as their career goal.

Without spot of wrinkle

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, December 3, 2010 0 comments

"There is no flaw in you" Song of Songs 4:7


People tend not to read the wisdom words of Solomon written in the Song of Songs. Some have said that the words are erotic in nature. If you are to understand the fullness of God's love, you must understand it in all of its dimension: brotherly (philia), erotic (eros), and self giving love (agape). Also you must recognize that God loves us completely in all of love's dimensions: philia, eros, and agape.

Therefore, I would suggest that one read the Song of Songs from the perspective of how it describes God's love for those of us within the fellowship of the church. The church is Jesus' bride. Jesus is its groom. In that sense Jesus desires and seeks the church as His love interest. From this perspective the reading of the Song of Songs takes on a new meaning.

"Christ Jesus has no quarrel with His spouse. She often wanders from Him, and grieves His Holy Spirit, but He does not allow her faults to affect His love. He sometimes chides, but it is always in the tenderest of manner, with the kindest intentions: it is "my love" even then. There is no remembrance of our follies. He doesn't harbor bad thoughts about us; rather, He pardons and loves as much after the offense as before it. It is fortunate for us that this is so, for if Jesus were as mindful of injuries as we are, how could He commune with us? Many times believers put themselves out of humor with the Lord for some slight turn in providence, but our precious Husband knows our silly hearts too well to take any offense at our bad manners."

That's why we all should say, "Thank you Jesus!"

We have been blessed to see a New Day!

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, December 2, 2010 0 comments

"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men." Psalm 107:8


"If we complained less and praised more, we would be happier, and God would be more glorified. Let's praise God daily for common mercies - common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless, that when deprived of them we are ready to perish. Let's praise Him for everything which we receive from His generous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are endowed most abundantly. The sweetest and loudest note in our songs of praise should be of redeeming love. We have been led to the cross of Christ - our shackles of guilt have been broken off; we are no longer slaves, but children of the living God, and can acknowledge the day when we will be presented before the throne without spot or wrinkle. Shouldn't we unceasingly give thanks to the Lord our Redeemer? Child of God, can you be silent? Wake up, wake up, you will posses glory. "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inner most being, praise His holy name." Let the new month begin with new songs.

Dr. Charles Spurgeon

Gossip and Slander are tricks of Satan

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, November 29, 2010 0 comments

"Do not go about spreading slander among your people." Leviticus 19:16


One of the deceptive tricks of Satan is to foster gossip and slander among people of faith about each other. When one spreads gossip or slander you emit a threefold poison: it injures the teller, the hearer, and the object of the gossip or slander. Whether the report is true or false, we are forbidden by God's word to spread it. The reputations of the Lord's people should be very precious in our sight, and we should consider it shameful to help the devil to dishonor the church, the name of the Lord and God's people by engaging in gossip and slander.

Let this be our family rule and personal agreement - Slander no one!

Be The Church

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, November 28, 2010 0 comments

"The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority."


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Put People to Work - Now!

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, November 27, 2010 5 comments

The word is out. The people of 21217/21201 have come together and organized to become a part of the work force in the State Center Project. The Baltimore Afro has done a front page story that outlines the issues involved. In physics for every action there is a reaction. The question is what will the reaction be: will the forces open up the process and provide jobs to the local residents or will they use the age old excuse we cannot find qualified people? The faith community has done the work. We have a comprehensive listing of people who are ready, able and willing to work who live in the neighborhood. We shall continue to insist that our local residents are hired. On Wednesday, December 1st the approval and funding for the underground garage goes before the Board of Public Works. We will find out directly from the Governor if local hiring will be a reality in this project. I pray that it is for the people who live within the community who need to work. Everybody wants a job! Now!!!!

The power is in your hands

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." - Ecclesiastes 9:10


"Whatever your hands find to do," refers to works that are possible. There are many things which our heart finds to do which we never should do. It is well it is in our hearts; but if we would be eminently useful, we must not be content with forming schemes in our heart, and talking of them; we must practically carry out "whatever our hand finds to do." One good deed is worth more than a thousand brilliant theories. Don't wait for large opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but do just the things we "find to do" day by day. We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we shall never have any time but time present. Then do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God. Endeavor not to bring forth fruit. Serve God now, but be careful as to the way in which you perform what you find to do - "do it with all your might." Do it promptly; do not fritter away your life in thinking of what you intend to do tomorrow as if that could compensate for the idleness of today. No one ever served God by doing things tomorrow. If we honor Christ and are blessed, it is by the things which we do today. Whatever you do for Christ, throw you whole soul into it. Do not give Christ a little slurred work, done as a matter of course now and then; but when you do serve Him, do it with heart, and soul, and strength. But where is the might of Christians? It is not in ourselves, for we are perfect weakness. Our might lies in the Lord of Hosts. Then let's seek His help; let's proceed with prayer and faith, and when we have done what our "hands finds to do," let's wait upon the Lord for His blessing. What we do in this manner will be well done, and will not fail in its effect.

"words by Rev. Dr. Charles Spurgeon"

Conversation among Black Men

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, November 26, 2010 0 comments

Had the opportunity to have a discussion with two successful African American Males, both under the age of 27 years. Between them they have collectively earned 9 degrees. One works for the government and the other works for corporate America. Both are from Baltimore and both attended Calvert Hall College and then West Virginia University. We were laid back watching the WVU versus Pitt football. During the game I asked a few reflective questions. What preparatory experiences during your high schools years helped you in college and beyond? What did you learn in college that has been beneficial to you in your careers? To the first question, it was shared that the discipline of Calvert Hall propelled them through college and beyond. Learning in a multi-cultural environment gave them a tremendous advantage at WVU. Learning how to use the free periods at Calvert Hall helped them with time management when they were in college. Learning how to pick friends gave them lifelong associates who pushed each other to succeed. In college they found that other students didn't take advantage of the free tutoring assistance provided. They invested two hours each day in the free tutoring sessions. They found that being on top of their subject areas didn't prohibit them from having fun and participating in extra curricular activities. Obtaining an international learning experience while in college proved to be helpful. Having goals that for them meant education was a stepping stone. Not seeing simply graduating as the mark of success, but obtaining the career that they wished as the success mark. They explained that they witnessed two many of their colleagues having short sighted goals: just getting into college or just getting a degree. Their goals where to obtain positions within the areas they had chosen for their careers. Finally having multi-cultural friendships taught them how to engage people from different cultures and backgrounds. In closing understanding that the competitors for jobs and positions come from all over the world. They had to meet a global standard for academic and professional achievement. I left the conversation feeling pretty goal about these two young men. I was proud as a peacock, knowing that they will provide leadership for our community and world in the future. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!

National Bible Week Nov. 21st to Nov. 27th

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, November 24, 2010 0 comments


The National Bible Association designated Baltimore City as its National Bible City. On Monday, November 22nd, prior to the time of the historic march for jobs in Baltimore, I had the honor of participating in Scripture reading in front of City Hall. It has been proven that the regular reading of the Bible at least four times a week has a positive impact on one's moral character and actions. We don't have to force religious practices down anyone's throat. We shouldn't be ashamed of our religious and biblical foundation. We are in perilous times when the eternal truths contained in scripture should be hung on the door-posts of everyone's home and in everyone's hearts.

Enough is Enough

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, November 23, 2010 0 comments

I have come to learn that when a person accepts the responsibility for being a minister within an urban community; you have to come out of your comfort zone and go where the pain, injustice, and marginalization most affects people. It's a moment when theory must become reality. It's a moment when one has to take a risk for truth, justice, and the "Beloved Community." The idea of "The Beloved Community" has lost traction during this era of individualism, Tea Party, and racial disunity. Nevertheless, if our form of republic is to be great; we must never cease striving towards the vision of America The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed in his dream over 57 years ago on the steps of the Nation's Capital.


Yesterday, I struggled with the same feelings he must have felt. I wrestled with the hesitancy to step outside of my comfort zone. I faced the demon of apathy. I felt the tension people feel when they believe they have no power to make a difference in their lives and the community.After much prayer, introspection, and searching of the scriptures; I came to the conclusion that "enough is enough." No longer will I stand on the sidelines waiting for someone to take on the mantle of leadership within our community. No longer will I criticize and ostracize others for what they did or didn't do.

Along with my fellow clergy persons, I stepped out on faith with the belief that there is a better way. Persons within the community are seeking an outlet for their voice. Persons in the community desire a better way of life. Persons in the community have power when they are organized.

Today we took action!

We demonstrated that you can deliver over 800 hundred people in a public action to address the conditions that impact them. We demonstrated that the church is not only a place of worship, but also a place of empowerment.

We marched in an orderly manner to the State Center Project to express our demands, "That Everybody wants a job!"

WBAL-TV11 recorded the action. Through their lens the people in power and the people within the city were able to see that the residents are organized and have the support of the faith community to press their claims for full employment. You would have been proud of our people. They operated in a civil, but forceful way. They were heard throughout the State House and City Hall. As we continue this movement for justice and jobs, their voices will echo to the White House and Wall Street. America has to put its people to work. The State of Maryland has to insure that local residents obtain the jobs funded within their local communities. The City of Baltimore must insist that public investment requires public participation in the benefits derived. "Everybody wants a job!"

Marching for Jobs

Posted by Al Hathaway Sunday, November 21, 2010 0 comments

This picture is intended to remind us that a key aspect of the Civil Rights Movement was to demand jobs for people. Religious leaders understood the connection between full employment and healthy communities and families. Our ancestors were willing to put their faith into action. Their Sunday worship experience fueled their desire to create change within the social and economic fabric within their communities. America and many local communities are going in the wrong direction. They believe that communities can be transformed through physical development without the spiritual uplift and development of the local residents in those communities. This is a formula for failure. Physical development, economic development and spiritual development are integrally tied together.


That why on Monday, November 22nd at 3:00 p.m.

Clergy and community members will march to the site of the proposed first Phase project of the State Center. This $1.6 Billion dollar project is being planned without a bona fide plan for including local residents in the jobs and economic benefits that will be derived from it.

We must march to highlight the needs of people who want to work and need to work. We must march to demonstrate that our communities can be organized and collectively pursue positive goals. We must march to insure that hopelessness does not fester into apathy. We must march to show the powers that be that the "sleeping giant" is now awake. We must march to let everybody know that the residents of West Baltimore will continue to demonstrate in a public way until they get the jobs being created on this project.

The revolution will not be televised. We intend to have 1,000 people march from Union Baptist Church to 400 West Preston. If you want to join in the march for jobs, we will leave from Union Baptist Church tomorrow beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Rev. Dr. Cleophus J. Larue

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

The wait is over. This Sunday, November 21st, the 11:00 a.m. preacher for Men's Day at Union Baptist Church will be Rev. Dr. Cleophus J. Larue. He is a professor of homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary. If you have not heard this teacher of preachers, you should come to 1219 Druid Hill Avenue tomorrow and experience one of the finest preachers in America. Fresh from attending the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Homiletics in Atlanta, Ga., he is in town for one day only to proclaim the word of God. A special men's day choir under the direction of Mr. Marco Merrick will sing. The theme: "Union Men: Empowered by their history to serve God." The Men of Union have a rich history upon which they can extend the ministry of service to the residents of the Beloved Community.

National Bible Association

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, November 18, 2010 0 comments

I'm leaving for New York to speak at the Annual Gala of the National Bible Association on Thursday, November 18th.


From November 21st to the 27th will be National Bible Week. The week of Thanksgiving since 1941 has been designated as such by every American President. President Barack Obama will also designate next week as National Bible Week.

To commemorate that week, Baltimore will host an interfaith concert on Sunday, November 21st at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore. On Monday, November 22nd I will join with interfaith leaders from across Baltimore in the reading of Scripture from the Balcony of Baltimore's City Hall.

Sister Mahalia Jackson would sing, "I found the answer. I learned to pray. Take your Bible with you and read it everyday." It has been proven that the regular reading of the Bible increases one's moral character.

Mack Lewis

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, November 13, 2010 0 comments

I use to say when one of our giants leaves us that it is a lost. In the case of Mr. Mack Lewis, he deposited some much of himself in so many that he will live on. Mr. Lewis was the originator of "street creditability." He earned his reputation by staying in the community and taught wild young boys what it meant to become a man. He was the "godfather" who did not abuse his power, but used his wisdom and assistance to steer young men in the right direction. I was blessed to interact with him on many occasions. I always stood in awe of this man whose legendary status waxed right before my eyes. Boxing was his tool to reaching hard headed young men. Young men who he taught that being macho was not how hard you could hit someone else. He taught being macho was how well you could serve someone else. Many men learned the lessons he taught. Each one who gleaned from his wisdom; is richer indeed. Mr. Mack Lewis, the man!

US Naval Academy Gospel Choir

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, November 12, 2010 0 comments

You are receiving plenty of advance notice. Next week the magic moment arrives. The United States Naval Academy Gospel Choir will be in concert at Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Avenue on Sunday, November 21, 2010 beginning at 4:00 p.m. I would suggest the you arrive at least 45 minutes early to get a good seat. This fantastic choir is touring around the United States and is making a special appearance in the Historic Union Baptist Church. If you want to hear a sampling of their music, you may click onto this link which will take you to UBC's home page. You will see a link on that page which will allow you to listen to one of their songs, "The Lord is in this place".

A More Simpler Time

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, November 10, 2010 0 comments

One time all you would ask is "what came first the chicken or the egg"; but in these days and times you have to look at your eggs and wonder if they are contaminated with salmonella. Profits and genetic alteration of our growing process, as well as, slack regulation of our food production chain has put the consumer at the behest of the food producers. I long for the time when we produced and grew our own foods and animals on family farms. Some of us may remember going to the "country" and visiting our relatives. Walking their vegetable fields, or climbing in their orchards, or chasing the chickens in the coop; these experiences, for some, are a distant memory. For others there is no memory at all. But, we use to live in simpler times. We use to live closer to nature. It seems the further away from nature we get; the more distant God is. Take a ride into the country, drive through the mountains; never forget that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof and all they that live therein."

Technology taking over our lives

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, November 9, 2010 0 comments

Have you given in to the urge to buy an IPad, or have you resisted the urge? Was it because you didn't need another trinket to learn or carry? Or, was because of the high price of all these items in the marketplace that supposedly you can't live without? I must admit I bought an Adroid phone, but I have not purchased an IPad. Why, I'm protesting how technology is taking up so much of my time and weaving its way into the fabric of my life. I'm concerned! As a result I've found myself spending more time in the library. I try to spend at least four hours per week in St. Mary's University and Seminary's library. I'm reading more books at home. I'm concerned that the inward journey created by technology is turning a generation of people into introverts. How do you say hello to someone when they have ear plugs in their ears? How do you look someone in the eye when they are constantly watching their cell phone or texting? I'm making it a habit to write at least ten letters each week. Because of email and texting we are losing the art of letter writing. What are you doing to resist the temptation of techonology taking over your life? Or, are you too far gone that it doesn't matter!

Rally for Jobs

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, November 2, 2010 0 comments

Victory is right around the corner

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, October 27, 2010 0 comments

We held our jobs meeting today for persons interested in working construction jobs on the State Center Project.


Over 1,000 persons showed up and filled out survey information.

We developed the mantra, "everybody wants a job."

The people expressed that they were ready, able and willing to work.

The International Labors Union agreed to providing people with free training. We are demanding that the State of Maryland adopt a workforce agreement in the Master Development Agreement that states that 50% of the jobs will go to area residents. We can win this fight for the residents of our community.

"Everybody needs a job!"

Furman L. Templeton Elementary School

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, October 25, 2010 0 comments

In today's Baltimore Sunpapers you will find an article about 2011 Charter Schools. One of the schools mentioned is The Furman L. Templeton Elementary School in the Upton Community of West Baltimore.


"•Furman L. Templeton Elementary School, which would reinvent itself as Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy and focus on "preparing youth for the 21st century" by adopting a new curriculum that includes outfitting their elementary school students with netbooks."

I applaud the efforts of all those involved you are working diligently to create a quality school for our students in this community. I have a particular interest because Union Baptist Church sponsors a Head Start Program. It is our desire that our graduates will enroll in the new charter school to continue the progress they have begun through our Head Start Program. The dream of a continuum of education is emerging within our community. We need to stay involved and vigilant. We need to continue our collaboration around all that is good and progressive.

Morgan State University

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, October 23, 2010 0 comments

My daughter as an alumnus of Morgan State University generates the excitement in my home when Homecoming Weekend comes around. My wife and I had the opportunity to experience the Morgan Gala last night at Martin's West. It was an outstanding affair. Heard the new President Dr. Wilson speak. He is destined to have a positive impact on the school.


Today, for those in the know, people are traveling to Hughes Stadium for the football game between Morgan and Delaware. Homecoming weekend is an exciting time.

Congratulations to all those who call Morgan State University their school.

Its all about Jobs!

Posted by Al Hathaway Friday, October 22, 2010 0 comments

In Friday's Afro American Newspaper, the position the clergy and community has set on the State Center Project job opportunities is posted.


Across the city we must agree that this project must have clear, concise job hiring goals for local residents and the participation of local businesses. We must monitor that the goals are met with punitive actions in place if there those goals are missed in any way.

Too many persons within the community are unemployed or underemployed to permit a public works project sponsored by the state to be awarded to developers and contractors without the needs of the local community being written into the agreements.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. in the Harvey Johnson Center, 1219 Druid Hill Avenue, we will hold a meeting of persons who have initially registered to work and are ready, willing and able to be trained and gainfully employed.

We will not stop until the members of our community are organized, their voices are heard, and their concerns are addressed!

Endorsement for Governor O'Malley

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, October 21, 2010 0 comments

I promised to give my endorsement of a candidate for Governor of the State of Maryland after the interview on WOLB by Larry Young. The radio interview was held this morning. I am now ready to state my endorsement. I must admit that the choice is really limited to the major party candidates. While I encourage alternate party candidates to run, we have a long way to go within the State of Maryland to create a viable third party option.


I endorse Governor Martin O'Malley for a second term.

This is not a ringing endorsement.

I am quite concerned that Governor O'Malley will continue the policy of former Governor Ehrlich to build a juvenile detention center in Baltimore City. He has requested more information upon which he states he will base his final decision. I suspect that he is waiting until after the election to state what he will do. The pressure needs to stay upon him to change his mind and offer the more appropriate approach which is to increase funding for prevention, education and rehabilitation of juveniles and not build this senseless facility.

I am concerned that in the State Center project he has not insisted that the development team specify concrete job hiring and training goals for local residents. Pressure will continue to be placed upon the state to insure that the full employment of local residents and the full utilization of community based businesses is a reality.

I am concerned that as he advocates for a knowledge and technology based economy; the state of our educational systems are not keeping pace with the rapidily changing world. Too many students of color are languishing in underfunded and outdated schools. His efforts in this area have to significantly increase during his next term.

I would urge an increased role for Lt. Governor Brown as an ambassador to the African American community. He is next in line as a candidate for Governor. He needs to increase his visibility and accessibility to the African American community. He is not a lock as a successor.

I would urge Governor O'Malley to maintain the excellence cabinet of African American leadership that he has in the ranks of secretary of major agencies. He should elevate more African American judges and appoint more African Americans to paying and non-paying commissions.

Finally, the Governorships across America are really a referendum on the leadership of President Obama. Maryland must stay firmly in the Democratic column so that we can send a message to America that in Maryland we support our President.

Mr. John H. Murphy III

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, October 19, 2010 1 comments

Mr. John H. Murphy III has joined the celestial band of angels. Throughout his life and career he stood for the best within our race and exhibited excellence in all that he did. He permitted me and other youth in Baltimore City to carry with pride the "Afro" newspaper.


We sold those papers throughout the city of Baltimore. So respected was his marketing genius that we could get on a transit bus without having to pay a fare as long as we were hawking the papers by saying, "Eddie Afro!." I don't really remember making much money; but I do remember having a lot of fun and feeling good about myself because I was a part of something big.

In his retirement you would see him with his trusty camera taking pictures and documenting history. He understood the importance of those things we take for granted today. He wanted to be certain that history recording the culture through the lens of his camera and his viewpoint.

His lovely wife, Mrs. Camay Murphy, is worthy to carry on his legacy as well as her own. I pray for her strength and that of the family as they continue their advocacy for all that is good.

New Psalmist Baptist Church

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, October 16, 2010 0 comments

God blessed me today with the opportunity to share in the opening day worship at New Psalmist Baptist Church in the Holy City of Zion. Bishop Walter Scott Thomas, Sr., the officers, and members of New Psalmist are to be commended for being obedience to God and believing that all things are possible for them who believe. The experience was awe inspiring and spirit filled. May God continue to bless this cutting edge ministry. It provides an example to us all of what it means to be attentive to the details and directions God requires in Kingdom building.

The Wiz

Posted by Al Hathaway 0 comments

With family and friends went to see the play, "The Wiz" at The Center Stage last night. They have an amazing cast of talented singers and actors. You can find world class entertainment in Baltimore. For those who wish to escape the regular and mundane, go see "The Wiz."


It's a brand new day!

People need Jobs

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, October 14, 2010 0 comments

The 1st Phase of the State Center Project in Baltimore is on the street for bids by construction managers. It's an impressive project that will forever alter the landscape of West Baltimore. Since its inception I have been involved with the singular goal of insuring that local residents and businesses benefit from this $1.5 Billion project. I firmly believe that all parties have operated in good faith. Nevertheless, life has taught me that unless you are at the table when decisions are being made, you are out of the loop. At present the people who are out of the loop are the persons who live within the community who may desire to work one of the many construction jobs that will be available. Persons are saying to me to wait until the contract is awarded and then the jobs will become available. For me that is too late, I believe the local residents who wish to work, should be identified, trained, and organized so that they are able to report to the job site on day one. I don't want local residents to wake up one day with a job sign being posted and their being hired is catch as catch can. Therefore, in partnership with the International Labor Union, I'm seeking to organize 200 persons who wish to work and are willing to be trained to work on Wednesday, October 27th at 3:00 p.m. at Union Baptist Church.

Chilean Miners Rescue - Amazing Grace of God!

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, October 13, 2010 0 comments

The rescue of the Chilean miners has captivated the attention of the world. The brilliance of engineers, architects, and planners are on display. The intestinal fortitude of the miners has people all over the world in awe. Since yesterday, periodically the men are being transported from deep in the mine to the surface by a capsule designed for that purpose. In other words a specific rescue plan was developed for them.


This reminds me of the awesomeness of God. He has designed for each of us a specific rescue plan to save our souls. All we have to no is to hold on and be willing, ready and able to be lifted up from the pit of our despair.

I am a witness that He will lift you up!

"I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; but the master of the sea heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me - now safe am I. Love lifted me. When nothing else could help. Love lifted me!"

Ehrlich or O'Malley?

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, October 11, 2010 0 comments

This evening is the debate between O'Malley and Ehrlich. Is it a waste of time to watch two men who are so disconnected from the needs of my community push positions that will not change the trajectory of the misery and despair so many people feel? Will either one make a difference in the misery index that is felt and is real? Both have had the opportunity to demonstrate their governing ability, both are known commodities, and the results of both are lackluster at best.


Ehrlich is riding a national anti-establish mood that will seriously impact Democratic candidates throughout America. O'Malley is hoping that the strength of the Democratic machine will carry the day.

There are some questions that need to be asked of each candidate: Will you support stopping the building of the $104 million dollars juvenile detection center? What is your plan for creating effective rehabilitation and recreational programs for youth? Will you support legislation that mandates that 20% of every project that receives state funding hire and train residents of the local community in which it is located? Will you make that legislation retroactive to include the State Center project in Baltimore? Will you support fully funding Thornton? If so, by when? If these questions are not asked tonight, be certain that I will ask those questions of the candidates when I meet privately with them on Thursday with a small group of community businesspersons and leaders.

After that meeting I will post who I will support.

More Stain Glass to Brighten your day!

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, October 9, 2010 0 comments

This morning I am sharing a side view of Union Baptist Church and the multi-colored stain glass windows that so beautifully adorn our sanctuary. Our ancestors understood simplicity and beauty. They designed a sanctuary that exemplified their respect and worship of God. As we move through this Saturday towards Sunday, I pray that each of you pause for a moment and "think about the goodness of the Lord while we are in the land of the living." I believe we all will conclude, "that God is good!"

Take time to Pray

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, October 7, 2010 0 comments

This stained glass window is prominently placed in the rear of the main sanctuary of Union Baptist Church. It was designed by John LaFarge, an American stain glass designer who developed the opulent glass technique made famous by Louis Tiffany.


The calming effect of the rays of sun that dance through the window with a rainbow array of colors produces a calming effect and a tranquil sense of peace. After dealing with the many issues of one's day, it good to know that there is a place of solace and safety.

The song would say: "Sweet hour of prayer, that calls me from a world of care and bids me at my Father's throne make all my wants and wishes known! In seasons of distress and grief, My soul has often found relief, and oft escape the tempter's snare by thy return, sweet hour of prayer."

An Apple a Day

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, October 6, 2010 0 comments

My mother would say to me that, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." She was reminding me of the importance of eating fruit as a part of my diet. In our health conscience society we find eating fruits and vegetables is very important. Having a healthy body is what God wishes for everyone.


I've also found that it is good to laugh sometimes. Everything in life cannot be taken seriously. In fact scripture says to us, "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine."

Therefore, have a good apple and a good laugh today!

Balm in Gilead

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, October 5, 2010 0 comments

There is a Negro Spiritual entitled, "There is a Balm in Gilead." This song communicates the biblical textual meaning of Jeremiah 8:22, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of my daughter of my people recovered?"


Many persons come to religious institutions all over the world seeking healing for their souls and spirits.

To emphasize the church as a place of healing, Rev. Vernon Dobson commissioned the creation of what we call, "The Balm in Gilead Window" in 1975.

Depicted here in a view of the Main Sanctuary of Union Baptist Church you will find those words craftily etched in the stain glass. What you will also find are the words, "Ain't That Good News!" The power of the love of God is that He is available to you, "Just when you need Him most."

The formal process begun over three years ago came to its logical conclusion with a dedication program at Union Baptist Church. The process of which I speak is what the church undertook to have it placed on the National Register of Historic Places by The Department of Interior's National Park Service. Forever in the national records of The United States of American, this African American Baptist Church will have its many accomplished noted and its record of service maintained. Rev. Dr. Harvey Johnson, a former slave, did not permit his enslavement to curtail the power of his mind and spirit. Once free he attended and graduated from Wayland Seminary in Washington. D.C. and proceeded to work for the cause of freedom of people of African descent everywhere. Much can be attributed to his 50 years of service as the Pastor of Union Baptist Church. He understood, long ago, that the Constitution of the United States of America was a tool that could be used for liberation of African American people. He, along with Attorney Waring, would take cases to court on behalf of African American people and won. So successful was his strategy that W. E. B. DuBois replicated it on the national level through his work with the N.A.A.C.P. I commend the members of Union Baptist Church for persevering through this process. The role of this church and the legacy of our ancestors will forever be in the national records of our country.

the social network

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, October 2, 2010 0 comments

For anyone that wants to understand how "FACEBOOK" came to be and why we are using it right now; go see the movie "the social network." I saw it last night with my daughter and it is the bomb! It walks you through the nuances of an entrepreneur. It explains the role of Harvard University when it says, "its students are not educated to get a job, but to create jobs." It outlines how FACEBOOK has become an global force that has no limits. It's originators and investors have all become billionaires. The tag line is, "You don't have 500 million friends and not some enemies."

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